Tagum’s health services for women continue amidst pandemic

TAGUM CITY – With the threat of COVID-19 constantly knocking at our doors, the City Health Office (CHO) of the local government unit of Tagum has found ways to continue seeing to women-clients while adhering to the protocols of social distancing and staying at home during this global pandemic.

This was bared during the guesting of health personnel from the CHO on Tagumpay Radio’s Health Talk with CHO Tagum, a regular program of the City Information Office’s radio broadcast.

In the discussion relating to Safe Motherhood, which is celebrated in the month of May, Dr. Dainah Fajardo stated that would-be-mothers should undergo prenatal checkups to ensure their safety and that of their unborn children until such time that they would deliver their babies. 

She said that the medical personnel manning the Barangay Health Stations in Tagum had devised a way to keep the expectant Tagumenyo mothers from crowding the health centers during their prenatal checkups. While it had been the norm to undergo monthly checkups before the spread of COVID-19, pregnant women are now advised to see a city health personnel four times during their pregnancy: once each during the first and second trimesters and twice in the last trimester. The health centers, though open from Monday to Friday, will see pregnant women for prenatal checkups every Tuesday and Thursday.

Ms. Juvellein Ravara, the focal person for Maternal and Child Care, added that the barangay functionaries and barangay health workers are also instrumental in the LGU’s continued delivery of health services to the pregnant women in Tagum while ensuring that the minimum health standards are followed for everyone’s safety, by enabling the scheduling of prenatal checkups by Puroks, and/or texting the would-be-mothers their upcoming scheduled checkups. 

Once these mothers have given birth, they are expected to undergo postnatal/maternal checkup, during the first 24 hours after birth, and also a week after a child’s birth to check if the mother has developed hypertension and bleeding. The barangay health station personnel then conducts postpartum visits to ensure that they follow through with the intake of prescription drugs, and Vitamin A supplementation, among others.

CHO’s Health Education and Promotion Officer Rae Katherine Apura- Pongan also highlighted the continued services being provided by the LGU-managed Birthing Facilities in San Miguel, La Filipina and Apokon. An expectant mother who wishes to avail the services of the birthing facility but is not a member of Philhealth will be enrolled to the health insurance institution by a personnel of the facility, and will then be entitled to a zero billing from the city’s public birthing facility. On the other hand, a pregnant woman who has no pertinent documents, such as a birth certificate, may give birth at the facility and will be charged a minimal fee of P3500.

These facilities, however, will not cater to women who are pregnant with their first baby, those who would deliver their 4th and 5th child, as well as pregnant teenagers as these women necessitate giving birth at a hospital.

The city health personnel also talked about the programs implemented by the department to prevent cervical cancer from plaguing women. These include the School-based Screening and immunization which is handed out to Grade 4 pupils or those aged  9 years old, and the preventive Community-based Screening via Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), and Pap Smear. 

Notably, the month of May is also the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Geneva Pangandoyon/CIO Tagum